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UK contact lens market biggest in Europe

The market grew in 2018 with over 789m contact lenses sold

Person inserting a contact lens

The UK’s contact lens market grew by 4% to £292m in 2018, according to the Association of Contact Lens Manufacturers (ACLM).

A new report published in association with Euromcontact found that the UK market is the largest in Europe, accounting for 22% of wearers.

It was made up of the sale of over 789 million contact lenses with the market value of daily disposables at 72%, or 59% by the number of wearers. Silicone hydrogel lenses accounted for 90% by value of the weekly, bi-weekly and monthly market.

There are 3.6 million contact lens wearers in the UK, which the report said represents at least 8.7% of the adult population. It also found that the contact lens care market grew by 2.3% to £21.4m.

Secretary general of the ACLM, Simon Rodwell, said: “The contact lens market continues to grow year on year, even in difficult times on the High Street, and so provides a golden opportunity for practitioners to demonstrate a more comprehensive level of care for their patients.”

Euromcontact surveyed 33 countries in Europe and further afield. However, the data does not include rigid gas permeable lenses, some care products and own-brand High Street products because not all manufacturers contributed to the statistics. 

Image credit: Getty